News

MasterChef’s oldest contestant out after prawn dish disaster

BENITA Orwell is the latest to be eliminated from MasterChef Australia in the most emotional exit so far this season.

The 57-year-old Brisbane mother-of-two stumbled in a challenge against Arum Nixon, Nicole Stevenson, Pete Morgan and Ben Ungermann last night.

Orwell was the oldest contestant on this year's season of MasterChef Australia. Earlier this week the second oldest, 49-year-old Pia Gava, was sent home.

Orwell's elimination had 18-year-old Callan Smith as well as Stevenson in tears. The end was a blow for Orwell who had auditioned four times to be on the Channel 10 cooking show.

"I'm really upset and absolutely gutted," Orwell said. "I don't want to go home. I'm cranky with myself."

The elimination cook-off was set for 90 minutes but contestants had to sacrifice time to buy ingredients.

Chocolate, prawns, john dory, duck and lamb backstraps cost 20 minutes. Artichokes, coriander, ginger, cherries, lemongrass and chillis cost 10 minutes.

Other ingredients including vanilla, pistachios, sugar and chardonnay cost five minutes.

MasterChef contestant Benita with daughters Brienne and Dominique.
MasterChef contestant Benita with daughters Brienne and Dominique.

Nixon was first to choose and he picked ginger, sugar and pistachios for 20 minutes. That left him 70 minutes on the clock.

Stevenson was next and selected the same ingredients. Ungermann chose john dory, artichokes and vanilla beans which meant a 55 minute cook.

>>Two Ipswich cooks impress Masterchef judges

Morgan selected cherries, vanilla beans, sugar and pistachios and had 65 minutes.

Orwell had to spend a whopping 45 minutes on the sidelines by choosing prawns, ginger, coriander and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce). That decision proved costly.

Nixon's cook went seamlessly.

Arum Nixon, Benita Orwell, Ben Ungermann, Pete Morgan and Nicole Stevenson faced elimination tonight. Picture: Channel 10Source:Supplied
Arum Nixon, Benita Orwell, Ben Ungermann, Pete Morgan and Nicole Stevenson faced elimination tonight. Picture: Channel 10Source:Supplied

Judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan thought the 34-year-old advertising strategist's ginger caramel cake with ginger ice cream was delicious.

"I might even ask him for the recipe," Mehigan said.

Morgan had less luck with his vanilla cherry layer cake with Greek yoghurt mousse and pistachio praline. The yoghurt didn't set properly and the cake collapsed.

Preston was baffled why Morgan didn't create a lamb dish and play to his strengths. Fortunately the flavour was there.

"It ain't a cake," Preston said. "Call it a Greek cherry trifle and you've got an absolute smash on your hands."

Orwell's biggest error came late in her cook of prawn wontons with prawn broth. Orwell took her eye off the broth and it burnt. She quickly had to create a sauce.

The judges praised Orwell's ability to think on her feet but the dish was underwhelming. Preston couldn't taste the kecap manis.

Benita has the look of disaster as she tries to rescue her prawn broth. Picture: Channel 10Source:Supplied
Benita has the look of disaster as she tries to rescue her prawn broth. Picture: Channel 10Source:Supplied

Ungermann's dory fillet, crispy skin shards, artichoke three ways and vanilla bean hollandaise was a hit.

Stevenson's ginger steamed pudding, Greek yoghurt sorbet and pistachio praline was a fail. The syrup had soaked into the top of the pudding leaving the rest dry.

"You can taste cake batter," Calombaris said.

Contestant Callan Smith was visibly upset by Benita's elimination. Picture: Channel 10 Source:Supplied
Contestant Callan Smith was visibly upset by Benita's elimination. Picture: Channel 10 Source:Supplied

It was clear that Nixon had created the best dish of the night. Orwell and Stevenson had plated up the two worst.

In the end, the judges sent Orwell packing, saying "your emergency replacement sauce showed great initiative but on a day with some really good cooking it just didn't cut it."

Smith was clearly upset by Orwell's exit. The tears started flowing and he said he had a lot of laughs with the former Qantas customer service supervisor.

Since her elimination, Orwell has done work experience at the Putia Pure Food Kitchen in Brisbane. Her food dream is to create a Ladies Long Lunch event business.

"Don't think that you're too old," Orwell told the contestants as she departed. "If you've always had a dream and you still haven't achieved it, go and do it."

Topics:  ipswich masterchef reality tv


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Action against plastic to protect the ocean

Byron Bay ocean photographer Craig Parry is cleaning up our beaches as part of the Corona and Parley global initiative.

A global initiative to fight plastic pollution

Guns, cash and drugs seized in bikie bust

As part of Strike Force Walenore, police conducted searches for firearms, firearms parts, and ammunitions at two properties of which the occupants were subject to Firearm Prohibition Orders this week.

Two homes searched on North Coast

Glitter obsession not so glitzy for the environment

Courtney Smoulden and Dylan Barker sporting some of the extensive glitter available at Splendour in the Grass 2017 near Byron Bay.

All that glitters is not necessarily gold

Local Partners

VIDEO: The 'Disco Boob' trend at Splendour

VIDEO: REVELLERS lined up in droves at the Glitoris body art tent as the ‘Disco Boobs’ glitter trend took off at the Splendour in the Grass music festival.

Why crowds are loving Happy Kanye at Splendour

Danger Dave and Melissah Marie with the artwork Happy Kanye at Splendour in the Festival 2017.

By Barcelona-based artistic collective Hungry Castle

Amber Heard, Elon Musk among Splendour celebs

Bernard Fanning plays the main stage at Splendour in the Grass 2017 on day 2.

DAY TWO of Splendour in the Grass was the day of celebrities.

DAY 1 WRAP: Fashions leave little to the imagination

Ali Herden, Keisja Divett, Megan Magill and Cassie Durham, of Canberra at Splendour in the Grass 2017.

Sunny weather means the young gets restless and raunchy at Splendour

MOVIE REVIEW: War for the Planet of the Apes

Andy Serkis monkeys around with Apocalypse Now in War For the Planet Of the Apes.

Ninja Warrior airs clips of dead contestant Johann Ofner

Johann Ofner has been identified as the man shot dead in an incident in the Brisbane CBD this afternoon

He was killed before the series went to air.

Meet 7 of the Fraser Coast's most eligible bachelors

Fraser Coast eligible bachelor - Bobbi Depp.

Are you single and looking for love?

Justin Bieber speaks after cancelling 14 concerts

Helal’s selfie with Bieber

So is he starting his own church or not?

Kendall Jenner's raunchy pose could breach standards

Kendall Jenner

Other celebs including Rita Ora, Bella Hadid posted similar shots.

The best and worst reality TV coming

Matty J in a scene from episode two of The Bachelor.

Reality TV bonanza as Hell’s Kitchen, The Block and Survivor launch.

Tenant: Let me rent, I'll fix your property and pay for it

Noosaville tenant Tony Conyers thought his tenancy was guaranteed until 2035, so he spent his own money on the property. Now he's been told he may not be able to stay for even one more year.

Renter spent $30k on maintaining, improving property over 17 years

TENANTS FROM HELL: See the mess left by evicted couple

DISGUSTING: Mess left by evicted tenants. Owner of the Mongogarie property Christine Beatty has been left at least $5000 out of pocket.

Couple were 'living large' while not paying their rent

How Gladstone's cheapest and most expensive homes stack up

SPECTACULAR: This home on Springs Road, Agnes Water, is selling in the mid-$2 million range.

With the market currently low, now is the time to invest.

'We’re goin' to Bonnie Doon!' and now you can too

How's the serenity?

The experience will have you exclaiming “how’s the serenity?”

New life for Bree and historic Oddfellows Hall

TWO CHANGES: Bree Dahl with her new baby Ivy in front of the historic Oddfellows Hall she purchased at auction and will renovate into a house.

Historic hall to be turned into home

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!